Spring Employment changes Tulips

Here are some important changes for the month:

  • Shared parental leave and pay is now in force, as of 5 April 2015. See previous blog for detail.
  • Ordinary parental leave, namely the right of a parent to take 18 weeks unpaid leave in respect of a child under 5 will now be available to parents until the child reaches the age of 18. Previously this applied only in the case of a disabled child under 18.
  • Adoptive parents’ rights  are now similar to those of a mother’s maternity leave rights.
  • Increases in tribunal award limits have been made as follows: The unfair dismissal compensatory award is now £78,335 (from £76,574) and the weekly rate of pay for the purposes of redundancy pay and the unfair dismissal basic award is now £475 (from £464).
  • The statutory sick pay  weekly rate is now (as of 6 April 2015) £88.45, previously £87.55.
  • The weekly rate for statutory maternity, paternity, adoption pay and now shared parental pay is now £139.58, previously £138.18.
  • From 6 April 2015 employers now do not need to pay national insurance contributions for those employees under the age of 21, up to a certain limit (the upper secondary threshold).
  • Also from 6 April those aged 55 or over will benefit from more flexibility in terms of accessing their pension funds.

All Employers should now be considering having a ‘STRESS POLICY’

In the recent case of Easton v B&Q plc the High Court found B & Q not liable for depression caused by work related stress. Material to the Court’s reasoning was that the employer had in place a managing stress policy. This policy invited employees to identify and notify the employer of any symptoms of stress. The Court considered that the employee had made insufficient efforts to make the employer aware of his difficulties.

Our HR Team can assist you in promptly updating your Employee Handbook to include such a policy. Please give Jane Elgar a call on 01277 636426.